JPMorgan Brings Back Its Mask Mandate for Vaccinated Employees
(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. brought back its mask requirement for vaccinated employees after ditching it earlier this year.
The largest U.S. bank, which often sets policies ultimately adopted by the broader financial industry, announced the change in a memo to staff Friday. The firm told its U.S. office workers in May that they don’t have to wear masks if they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but the rise of the highly transmittable delta variant and a change in official U.S. guidance upended that approach.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you are required to wear a mask in any common area within our buildings, including when walking between desks/moving around the floor, on elevators and in pantries, cafes, lobbies, etc.,” Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and the rest of JPMorgan’s operating committee wrote in the memo. “You may remove your mask in conference rooms or at your workspace where you can socially distance.”
Companies across the U.S. have been adjusting return-to-office plans after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged fully vaccinated people to go back to wearing masks indoors in places where infections are rapidly climbing -- including New York City.
The biggest Wall Street banks have so far stopped short of requiring employees to be vaccinated, though some have warned they may do so. That contrasts with Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, as well as the state of California and New York City, which have said government employees will need to be vaccinated or tested weekly.
At JPMorgan, employees who aren’t vaccinated must wear their masks in the office at all times, removing them only when socially distanced at their workspaces or when eating or drinking and socially distanced. They can’t attend indoor employee events with 25 or more people and must be tested twice a week, according to Friday’s memo.
JPMorgan and rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have been leading the charge to repopulate offices, putting pressure on rivals to do the same. Citigroup Inc. went back to requiring employees to don masks in the office, regardless of vaccination status, Bloomberg reported last week. Morgan Stanley is barring unvaccinated employees from entering its offices in the New York area, according to an internal memo in June.
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